Google has always been about organizing information for web users, and webmaster are just another group of people that needs more information. Since webmaster generate most of the information that is indexed by Google, it is more than natural that a certain level of collaboration should exist between Google and these producers of digital content.
In the past, webmaster have been looked at by searching companies with a little suspicion. It is not a secret that the biggest goal of any webmaster is to be spot in the number one for some of the search keywords that is targeted by their pages. Also, many webmasters have used less than scrupulous tactics to improve their ranking in the web search listings. Doing things such as creating additional meta tags, and massaging the html content to improve the visibility for web bots is frequently done.
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For these reasons, web search engines have tried to keep some safe distance from web masters, mainly to avoid that personal preferences affect the quality of the results. Although Google has the protection of its results as a clear priority, it also needs all the help they can find in order to provide the best results. Webmasters can be a useful source of information about the content of web pages, if they are used correctly.
In the past, since webmasters had no say on the workings of web search engines, they could only use indirect methods to provide information, such as using meta tags, html titles, etc. Google is trying to engage webmasters more directly, extracting directly from them information that can be useful to understand the content of pages.
An example of this trend is the Google services for webmasters. In this page, webmasters can get a lot of information about how Google view their pages. For example, they can view who links to their web sites, what is their average page rank, and how many times the Google crawler has searched for links in their pages.